Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) placed a joint call to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in January, urging him to tone down his anti-immigration rhetoric in order to win Hispanic votes, according to The Daily Beast. Romney listened politely, sources say, and did not use the phrase “self-deportation” ever again.
Romney is up against low numbers for Latino support, with a recent Latino Decisions poll finding that he has only 22 percent support to President Barack Obama’s 70 percent.
Conventional wisdom among strategists is that Republicans need about 40 percent of the Hispanic vote to win a presidential election, according to the Huffington Post. Former President George W. Bush won 44 percent of Latino voters in 2004, according to some estimates. McCain received about 31 percent of the Latino vote when he lost to Obama.